Even if you’re not opening up a technology-based business, founding any kind of company today without at least a few basic tech skills under your belt is hard. And while you can and should hire help for more difficult technical projects down the line, when you’re just starting out, odds are you’ll need to tackle technology on your own first.
You don’t need to be a tech genius to get started, though. Below, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council list a few of the basic skills all company founders should have to start a business and explain how these skills will get you up and running successfully.
9 Essential Tech Skills All Founders Should Have
- Basic coding.
- Social media.
- Marketing automation.
- Calendar management.
- Microsoft Excel.
- Data analysis.
1. Basic Coding
Although HTML and CSS coding skills are less important now than they once were, they will still take you very far if you have a company website. There will inevitably be little hiccups, glitches and bugs on your website that will require quick remedies, and you won’t always have a web developer available to help. Knowing how to solve the bug quickly with coding skills is essential in my book. — Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets
In today’s world, the first place any consumer goes to when searching for any good or service is the internet. As such, identifying what the consumer will type into Google to search and ensuring that your website is optimized for those keywords (a.k.a. search engine optimization or SEO) is paramount. After all, if we can’t get customers through the front door, everything else is irrelevant. Master SEO first! —Bill Mulholland, ARC Relocation
3. Social Media
You should be able to use all social media apps and make your own content via Photoshop or video editing. We know that you can use social media apps to communicate with customers, market your products and collaborate with influencers. This means you should know how to work with all social media apps and, if possible, make your own content. —Daisy Jing, Banish
Your startup will likely have a blog, and WordPress is one of the most popular formats for that type of endeavor. Learn the basics obviously, but also take a deep dive to understand shortcuts, workarounds and hacks. That way, your path to success should be shorter. —Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
5. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is necessary for founders who want to stay competitive in this tech-driven world. Automation eliminates the need to perform repetitive tasks like sending out newsletters, following up with customers, scheduling meetings and other tasks that can be tedious for entrepreneurs. When you know how to automate your marketing, you can focus on real problems that need your attention. —Blair Williams, MemberPress
6. Calendar Management
Founders’ calendars can fill up very quickly, and you may need to do a lot of rescheduling with various people. Making sure to show up to the right meeting on time is vital for founders. If you’re using assistants or other third-party tools to manage your calendar, make sure they sync and update correctly. This leads to more efficiency and credibility. —Meeky Hwang, Ndevr, Inc.
7. Microsoft Excel
It might seem basic, but being able to use Excel will make a big difference to your life. It is a very powerful tool that, early on, you can use to track expenses, build out revenue forecasts, and then transfer this information into a budget and track performance. Excel will allow you to manipulate data and allow you to track your business in one simple place. —Zane Stevens, Protea Financial
The most important tech skill founders need to master includes leveraging video. An easy way to start includes using Facebook or Instagram to show up, show your face and talk among your audience. Leaders need to build a strong personal brand, and knowing the basics of how to show up on video humanizes the company. Founders who show their faces on video lead with an advantage of connection. —Libby Rothschild, Dietitian Boss
9. Data Analysis
You should have some familiarity with at least the basics of data analysis, including the key performance indicators that are essential for your business. You can outsource many tasks, from SEO to web development, but you really need to be able to understand your own metrics. This lets you understand your strengths and weaknesses and where you need to improve. —Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting